Tom Dalton’s love of automobiles and tools began when he was 16.
“I was an Evergreen boy who had to learn how to fix his own car,” he said.
After graduating, Dalton worked as a mechanic as well as a volunteer firefighter proving his commitment to serving his community in more than one way.
In February, he opened Dalton’s Garage at 128 Springcreek Drive in Evergreen. He expected business to grow slowly, but since opening there has been a steady stream of customers who desire the quality workmanship and honest prices that Dalton aims to offer.
As he walked through the garage doors, the smell of fuel wafted through the air and Dalton smiled to greet a customer.
Dalton uses NAPA auto parts and offers a NAPA Autocare Peace of Mind Warranty so vehicles are covered for 24 months or 24,000 miles after service. Dalton is an ASE Certified Technician, which means he has completed certification to diagnose and repair a vehicle. This certification must be renewed every five years, so he must maintain his knowledge of the latest technologies used in automotive workshops.
Dalton urges potential customers to use an ASE-certified mechanic because he says it will give them peace of mind that their vehicle is in good hands. When a customer doesn’t take their vehicle to an ASE-certified technician, they run the risk of the technician not being able to properly diagnose the problem and spending more money than necessary, he adds.
Dalton is also one of 18,694 mechanics nationwide who is certified to work on light-duty diesel engines. Finding a certified diesel engine mechanic can be important because Montana has the second highest percentage of diesel vehicles in the United States, according to Motor Trend magazine.
Dalton knows that customers may encounter difficulties in other stores. Noting that several of his clients’ vehicles were poorly maintained elsewhere before coming to see him.
“I want to treat other people’s vehicles the way I would want mine treated and I don’t recommend anything for a car that I wouldn’t do myself,” he said.
Despite the challenges of being a small business owner, Dalton knows his efforts are worth it as he strives to provide trustworthy service to auto owners throughout the valley. Dalton said his goal for the coming year is to continue to grow his business and he believes the sense of community in the Flathead Valley will help him achieve that goal.
He expressed his enthusiasm for having full control over what his clients receive in terms of great work and fair prices.
“At the end of the day, I feel rewarded knowing that I fixed someone’s vehicle and helped them save some money,” he said.
Dalton’s garage is located at 128 Springcreek Drive in Evergreen. Contact them at 406-260-4496.